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Burning Man Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Hardwired; 1st edition (April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888869135
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888869132
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 9.5 x 14 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,776,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Wired magazine's book division, HardWired, has taken the rich color process that gives their newsstand editions such impact and put it to even better use here, producing a volume of full-page photographs uninterrupted by text or the eye-candy layout that make Wired so amusing and difficult to read. This book features work by nearly a dozen photographers documenting the Black Rock Arts Festival, better known as Burning Man. This annual event draws thousands of revelers to a desolate stretch of desert for a few days of performance art, naked frolicking, and a bizarre, mock auto-da-fé wherein the giant wood and neon Burning Man is destroyed in the culmination of this festival of images. Sixteen pages of text separate the daylight photos from those taken at night, and the endpapers, prints of the cracked and empty desert surface, neatly wrap this exquisitely beautiful package.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a longtime participant in Burning Man, I looked forward to the publication of this book with eager anticipation. It's a lovely volume, and has plenty of dramatic and artsy images to show off to your friends who ask "What the heck is this Burning Man thing?"
What's missing however, are many aspects of individual challenge and participation that are central to life on the Playa. The Camps, the communities, the building and the clean up, and the daily life issues we all face living on a blank canvas in the desert are largely ignored in favor of the art aspect of the event. There are very few images of the Burn, the moment of release, and that makes it feel incomplete.
Now, don't get me wrong! This is a lovely book, well-photograped and well-made, it just feels to me more like a slick representation rather than an access point to the whole event. Though, with WIRED involved, that makes sense as well. I love having this book, and would recommend it to anyone who has lived in Black Rock City.
I wouldn't be without this volume on my shelves.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Adrian Roberts on July 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Let's face it, when they start making coffee table books about a really cool, artsy, ostensibly underground, non-commercial event, you know the writing's on the wall for said event's hip quotient. So needless to say, I had a real negative feeling about this book before I even looked at it. I was opposed to its existance purely on principal. "Wired is trying to make money off of Burning Man," I thought, incredulous. And the Burning Man people actually approved! Travesty!
I must admit it though -- it's gorgeous. Stunning really. Beautifully designed, with huge, full-bleed photos-both color and black-and-white-on every page. Flipping through the book, there seems to be a good representative sampling of Black Rock City culture circa 1990-1996: Clichéd images of naked, painted bodies dancing. That goddamned Java Cow. Art cars. Colorfully-costumed participants. Moody black-and-whites of the Man. The usual pics of naked people caked with mud. It's even presented in somewhat of an order, with all the daytime images slowly leading into photos taken at dusk. Then there's the requisite sixteen pages of editorial pontificating, before heading off into the book's "climax," which mirrors the climax of the event itself with its final eighteen photos all taken during Burn night.
The images, for the most part, are stunning--although anyone can tell you that it seems damn near impossible to take a bad photo out on the playa. I especially liked Barbara Traub's very artful, often-posed, black-and-whites. Instead of merely documenting the event, she seems to use the playa as her own photography studio, producing incredibly unique images.
As for the editorial content, it makes for a good, hour-long read. Naturally, everyone tries to explain what Burning Man is, without ever really nailing it down.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kimberley F. on December 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I've been to the event-- first as a citizen and later as part of the volunteer labor force, and I own this book. It's true (as other reviewers have stated) it is not "complete"-- in the sense that its focus is primarily visual. (There is so much more to Burning Man!) But it does a marvelous job with those visuals! Each page turned elicits one of the following thoughts: "Gad! I didn't see that! How could I possibly have missed that?" or something like "Ahhhh, I remember that evening on the Promenade-- and how mysterious the light was..."
The reader who found the images too "extreme," "surreal," and "fringe" has not been there-- or he/she forgot to look around, because this is what you will see if you venture out of your tent... It's easy to come up with remarkable images in this remarkable temporary city, and this book does a fine job of hinting at the world that is Black Rock City. Go ahead, whet your appetite...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Peterman on January 2, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Perhaps because I had such high hopes for this book, I was rather underwhelmed when I finally saw it. There are some nice individual photos and it's good to have all the essays in one place, but taken as a whole it's less than stellar. I think another reviewer was on-target by pointing out the problems with the layout and presentation -- it tends to detract from the actual content.
Still, it's nice to have on hand when people ask you "what's that Burning Man thing you went to?"
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